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Different Kinds of Motorcycle Patches: A Comprehensive Guide

Motorcycle patches are a significant aspect of biker culture, serving as a means of self-expression and showcasing one’s affiliation with a particular club or group. These patches come in various shapes, sizes, and designs, each carrying a unique meaning and significance. In this article, we will explore the different types of custom motorcycle patches that can be manufactured, their meanings, and how they can enhance the overall appearance of a biker’s jacket or vest. So, whether you’re a seasoned rider or new to the world of motorcycles, read on to discover the fascinating world of biker patches.

1. Motorcycle Club Patches

Club patches, also known as rocker patches, are worn by members of motorcycle clubs to signify their membership and display the club’s name, emblem, and location. These patches are typically comprised of a top rocker, displaying the club’s name, a center patch with the club’s logo, and a bottom rocker, indicating the club’s location. Club patches are an integral part of biker culture and are worn with pride by club members.

a. One-Piece Patches

One-piece patches are worn by members of riding clubs or motorcycle associations, as opposed to traditional motorcycle clubs. These patches usually feature the club’s name, logo, and location on a single patch, which is placed on the back of a rider’s jacket or vest. One-piece patches are generally less formal than their three-piece counterparts and do not carry the same level of prestige.

b. Two-Piece Patches

Two-piece patches are often used by motorcycle clubs in transition or those awaiting approval from the club’s hierarchy. These patches consist of a top rocker displaying the club’s name and a center patch featuring the club’s logo. Wearing a two-piece patch signifies that the wearer is awaiting full membership in the club. It is essential to exercise caution when designing a two-piece patch, ensuring that it does not resemble or infringe upon the patches of local clubs.

c. Three-Piece Patches

Three-piece patches are worn by members of traditional motorcycle clubs or outlaw clubs and are considered the most prestigious type of club patch. These patches are made up of a top rocker, a center patch, and a bottom rocker, collectively referred to as “colors.” The three-piece patch signifies that the club has been approved by the dominant club in the region or state, and its members have earned the right to wear the patch. Gaining a three-piece patch requires full membership in the club and the approval of all its members.

2. Military and Patriotic Patches

Military and patriotic patches showcase a biker’s dedication to their country and often feature symbols representing military service, national flags, or other patriotic imagery. These patches serve as a way for bikers to express their loyalty and pride in their nation while also displaying their affiliation with a particular military unit or veterans’ group.

a. Military Custom Patches

Custom military patches are also worn by bikers who have served in the armed forces or wish to show their support for the military. These patches often feature unit insignias, rank, or other military symbols, and can be customized to reflect the wearer’s specific service or accomplishments.

b. Flag Patches

Flag patches are a popular way for bikers to display their patriotism and love for their country. These patches typically feature the national flag of the wearer’s country and can be worn alongside other biker patches to create a unified theme.

3. Brand-Based Patches

Brand-based patches represent a specific motorcycle brand, such as Harley-Davidson, and serve to identify the type of bike a rider owns or their loyalty to a particular motorcycle manufacturer. These patches are often worn by bikers who take pride in their motorcycle’s make and model and wish to showcase their affiliation with like-minded riders.

4. Custom Biker Patches

Custom biker patches allow bikers to create their unique designs, ranging from personalized names or logos to intricate artwork. These patches are an excellent way for riders to express their individuality and creativity while also showcasing their affiliation with a particular club or group.

a. Personalized Name Patches

Personalized name patches are a popular choice for bikers who want to showcase their unique identity on their vests or jackets. These patches typically feature the rider’s name or nickname embroidered in a specific font and color, allowing for a truly one-of-a-kind design.

b. Custom Logo Patches

Custom logo patches allow bikers to create their unique emblem or symbol, representing their club, group, or personal interests. These patches can be designed in various styles and colors, making them an ideal way for bikers to showcase their creativity and individuality.

5. Achievement Patches

These type of patches are awarded to bikers who have completed specific tasks, such as attending a rally, participating in charity events, or reaching a milestone in their riding career. These patches serve as a visual representation of the rider’s accomplishments and add an element of prestige to their jacket or vest.

6. Outlaw Biker Patches

Outlaw biker patches, such as the “1%” patch or the “Number 13” patch, are primarily worn by members of outlaw motorcycle clubs to signify their participation in illegal activities or defiance of the law. These patches are often worn by bikers who wish to make a statement about their rebellious nature and allegiance to their club.

7. Iron-On Patches

Iron-on patches are a convenient and easy way to add a biker patch to your jacket or vest. These patches come with an adhesive backing that can be applied to your clothing using an iron, making them an ideal choice for those who want a quick and hassle-free way to customize their biker gear.

8. Sew-On Patches

Sew-on patches are a more traditional method of attaching biker patches to jackets or vests and require the use of a needle and thread. While this method may be more time-consuming than using iron-on patches, sew-on patches provide a more secure and permanent attachment to your clothing, ensuring that your patches remain in place even during the most rigorous rides.

9. Embroidered Motorcycle Patches

Embroidered patches are a popular choice for bikers due to their intricate designs and high-quality appearance. These patches are made using different thread colors to create detailed patterns and images, resulting in a visually appealing and durable patch that can withstand the elements.

10. Specialty Patches

In addition to the more common types of biker patches, there are also specialty patches available for specific occasions, such as memorial patches to honor fallen riders or event-specific patches for rallies and charity rides. These patches serve as unique additions to a biker’s collection and help to commemorate special moments in a rider’s life.

a. Memorial Patches

Memorial patches are a touching tribute to riders who have passed away, featuring their name, dates of birth and death, and any specific insignia or symbols associated with the individual. These patches can be worn by friends and family to honor the memory of the deceased and keep their spirit alive within the biker community.

b. Event-Specific Patches

Event-specific patches are designed to commemorate participation in a specific rally, charity ride, or motorcycle event. These patches often feature the event’s name, date, and location, as well as any unique artwork or logos associated with the occasion. Collecting and displaying event-specific patches is a popular way for bikers to showcase their involvement in the motorcycle community and celebrate their shared passion for riding.


Motorcycle patches are more than just decorative elements; they serve as a visual representation of a biker’s identity, affiliations, and accomplishments. From club patches and military patches to custom designs and achievement patches, there is a vast array of options available to suit every rider’s unique style and preferences. By understanding the different types of motorcycle patches and their meanings, you can create a personalized and meaningful collection that showcases your passion for the biker lifestyle. So, whether you’re a veteran rider or just starting on your journey, remember that the world of biker patches is rich in tradition, symbolism, and self-expression.